The American XL Bully Dog: A Comprehensive Guide

an American XL Bully dog in a majestic pose, standing in an open field with tall grass

What is the American XL Bully?

The American XL Bully is a breed that has captured the hearts of dog lovers for many years. Its size and general demeanour is an example of selective breeding. The breed has become popular over the years for not just their physical attributes but also their friendly nature and their ability to adapt to various living conditions. In this article, we deep dive into the world of the American XL Bully, tracing its historical lineage, understanding its unique characteristics, and exploring its rise to prominence in the modern canine landscape.

XL Bully Dogs Legislation Update

CategoryXL Bully Dogs Legislation Update
Legislation EnforcementBreeding, selling, or rehoming XL Bully Dogs becomes illegal starting 31 December 2023.
Public Safety MeasuresXL Bully Dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled when in public.
Registration RequirementOwnership is allowed only if the dog is registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs from 1 February 2024 onward.
Consequences of Non-ComplianceNon-compliance with these regulations may lead to criminal records, fines, or seizure of the dog.

It’s now imperative for owners to adhere to new regulations: keeping XL Bullies on a lead, muzzling them in public, and registering them on the Index of Exempted Dogs by 1 February 2024. Ensure you read the article and put measures in place immediately such as keeping your XL Bully on lead, muzzled in public and obtaining third-party liability insurance.

If you have missed the deadline, then checkout our latest article here.

If you find this article interesting, you might want to check out our blog and podcast section.

RSPCA Gains Judicial Review

In a significant update on the XL Bully ban, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has been granted a judicial review hearing. This development could potentially challenge the UK government’s recent decision to ban XL Bully dogs.

This breed-specific legislation, part of the government’s effort to address a spike in dog attacks, has sparked widespread debate and concern among dog owners and animal welfare groups alike. Check out further information on applying for an exemption certificate in our detailed guide.

What is the XL Bullies Historical Background?

The American XL Bully , also known as Bully XL, originates from the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American XL Bully has evolved over time through selective breeding, yielding a unique breed distinct in size and appearance. However, its rising popularity has led to concerns, culminating in the recent UK government’s ban effective from 31 December 2023.

The Origins and Purpose of XL Bullies

The XL Bully, or XL American Bully, is a breed that emerged in the late 20th century, primarily in the United States. Its development was driven by the desire to create a canine companion with a distinctive appearance and a gentle temperament, diverging from the aggressive reputation associated with some of its predecessor breeds. XL Bullies were bred with a focus on their suitability as family pets, rather than for any specific working role.

Historical Roots

The XL Bully’s lineage can be traced back to the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. Breeders aimed to retain some physical characteristics of these breeds while significantly reducing aggression. Over time, other breeds like the English Bulldog, French Bulldog, and Mastiff were also integrated to enhance certain physical and temperamental traits.

What are XL Bully Physical Characteristics?

Size and Build

The American XL Bully stands out with its muscular build. Males typically weigh between 110 to 150 pounds, with females ranging from 100 to 140 pounds. Their stature is impressive, with males standing between 20 to 23 inches and females between 19 to 22 inches. When comparing the XL Bully size to other breeds, their robustness is evident.

Coat and Colour

Their short, glossy coat can be found in various shades, including the sought-after chocolate tri xl bully and fawn xl bully colours. Additionally, the blue xl bully and tri-colour variations are quite popular. Their coat requires minimal grooming, making maintenance a breeze.

How to check if your dog is an American XL Bully

You can find all the relevant details on the UK Governments website on the Official Definition of an XL Bully page.

XL Bully standing next to a fence

XL Bully Health and Care

  • Diet: A balanced diet is paramount for the American XL Bully. Their large size and active nature necessitate a diet rich in protein. Many owners consider the best raw diet for xl bully, ensuring they receive essential nutrients.
  • Exercise & Mental Stimulation: Regular physical activity is vital for the American XL Bully. They relish activities like walks, fetch, and agility training. Given their robust physique, it’s crucial to ensure they don’t overexert themselves. Additionally, mental stimulation is equally important. Explore enrichment activities to keep their minds sharp and engaged.
  • Health Concerns: The breed may face health issues like hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups can help mitigate these concerns. Additionally, given the breed’s unique needs and potential regulations, securing appropriate insurance for the American XL Bully in the UK is crucial.

XL Bully Temperament with Other Dogs

The XL Bully’s interaction with other dogs is shaped by various factors, emphasizing the importance of responsible breeding and training:

  • Expert Insights: Renowned for their strong and confident demeanour, XL Bullies can be sociable and friendly, especially when their training and socialisation start early. This perspective is supported by experienced dog behaviourists.
  • Socialisation Impact:
    • Puppyhood Experiences: Positive experiences during puppyhood, involving exposure to diverse environments and canine companions, are crucial. They foster adaptability and reduce aggression.
    • Adult Dog Interactions: The breed’s response to other dogs in adulthood can vary, often reflecting their early life experiences. Dogs that missed critical socialization periods might exhibit nervousness or aggressive behaviours towards other dogs.
  • Tailored Approach for Each Dog: Recognising the individuality of each XL Bully is essential. Factors like personal history, previous negative encounters, or lack of early socialisation play a significant role in shaping their reactions to other dogs. A nuanced understanding of these elements is key for ensuring peaceful and safe interactions with other canines.
Image of an XL Bully dog. The setting is an outdoor environment.

XL Bully Summary

The American XL Bully, characterised by its powerful stature and endearing nature, has become a beloved choice for many. However, with its growing popularity come challenges, especially with the impending regulations in the UK.

Proper care, training, and awareness of insurance considerations are essential for potential owners. Regardless of one’s experience with dogs, the American XL Bully’s charm is undeniable, making it a standout breed in the canine world.

Essential Products for Your American XL Bully

As a responsible American XL Bully owner, it’s crucial to ensure the safety and comfort of your pet, as well as adhere to legal guidelines, especially in the light of the regulations regarding muzzling and leashing of XL Bullies.

We have curated a list of indispensable products that not only aim at complying with the impending laws but also ensure a positive and comfortable experience for your beloved bully:

Basket Muzzle

Fitting your XL Bully with a muzzle is now a legal requirement from 31st December 2023. Our selected muzzle through Amazon is designed for the comfort and breathability of your XL Bully, providing a secure fit while allowing your dog to pant and drink water whilst preventing dog bites.

Top Selling

Basket Muzzle

  • Allows dogs to pant when hot or stressed and drink

  • Can be heat shaped to fit different dog nose shapes

  • Strong Thermo Plastic Rubber (TPR)


Training Lead

A training lead offers versatility, ideal for training, walking, or ensuring your bully stays close in crowded or high-traffic areas

Top Selling

  • Combines a strong connection with an elegant design

  • Includes a padded handle, Ruffwear's unique lockable Crux Clip™ hardware, and a bold design

  • Keeps you comfortably connected to your canine companion



A harness provides better control and distributes pressure evenly across the chest and shoulders, which is much safer than traditional collars, especially for robust breeds like the American XL Bully.

Top Selling

  • Front Range Harness is a padded everyday dog harness

  • Easy to put on and comfortable for dogs to wear 

  • Features two leash attachment options


About Me

Jim Gillies, a Certified Dog Behaviourist and Trainer in Glasgow with over 10 years of experience, prioritises canine well-being through modern, science-backed methods. Handling 4000+ cases of 1-to-1 behaviour training, Jim is fully accredited, insured, and recognised for addressing various behavioural issues including aggression, separation anxiety, and more. Jim holds qualifications in level 5 (merit) Advance Diploma Canine Behaviour Management and level 6 Applied Animal Behaviour. Explore his insightful blog and podcast, sharing expert knowledge on dog training and behaviour. Certified by the IAABC, Jim’s expertise makes him a reliable choice for addressing your dog’s needs.

Contact Information

Should you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact me on:


Mobile: 07864029933


Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate, and the products recommended in this guide are sold on Amazon. For each product listed, I have provided a hyperlink that directs you to the Amazon page where you can make a purchase. Should you decide to buy any of the products through the provided links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. This affiliate commission helps to support my work and continue providing valuable information to my readers. Thank you for your support!

FAQ on American XL Bully

What is the American XL Bully?

The American XL Bully is a breed of dog known for its majestic size, gentle demeanour, and adaptability to various living conditions. It has gained significant attention for its physical attributes and amiable nature.

What are the historical origins of the American XL Bully?

The American XL Bully originated from the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. Through selective breeding, it has evolved into a distinct breed in terms of size and appearance.

Are there any regulations surrounding the American XL Bully?

Yes, due to its rising popularity, there have been changes in regulations. The UK government has imposed a ban on the breed. Owners are advised to keep their XL Bully on a lead, have them muzzled in public, and obtain third-party liability insurance.

How big is the American XL Bully?

Males typically weigh between 110 to 150 pounds and stand between 20 to 23 inches. Females weigh between 100 to 140 pounds and stand between 19 to 22 inches.

What are the coat variations of the American XL Bully?

The American XL Bully has a short, glossy coat that comes in various shades, including chocolate tri xl bully, American bully xl, fawn xl bully, blue xl bully, and tri-colour variations.

How is the temperament of the American XL Bully?

Despite misconceptions about the breed, the American XL Bully is affectionate and loyal. They interact well with children and other pets, especially when properly socialised from a young age.

How should the American XL Bully be exercised?

Regular physical activities like walks, fetch, and agility training are recommended. It’s essential to ensure they don’t overexert themselves. Mental stimulation through enrichment activities is also crucial.

Are there any health concerns associated with the American XL Bully?

Yes, they may face issues like hip dysplasia, heart conditions, and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups can help address these concerns. Additionally, securing appropriate insurance in the UK is vital due to the breed’s unique needs and potential regulations.

Are XL Bullies aggressive?

Contrary to common misconceptions, XL Bullies are not inherently aggressive. They are often protective but also known for their loyalty and affection.

Learn more on this topic

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